When Serving Is a Chore Instead of a Delight

How often do I agree to do something for someone and then walk away muttering about it? How often do you? 

Our exchange wasn’t that different from the many my husband and I have each day. Yet for some reason, this one caught my attention. Drifting back to my desk, I reflected on what was bugging me.

We had agreed to help each other that day. As it should be. Yet we both did it rather grudgingly. That was the problem.

Shouldn’t serving those we love be done willingly and with joy? Shouldn’t serving anyone be done in that same manner? But do I?

serving and loving

Inside Flaws

I want to help others, including my man. I really do. 

Yet, when I’m serving with eyes rolling and heart muttering, is that service at all?

That morning with my husband, God highlighted the flaw so many of us carry. We love and serve, but we do so conditionally and often without delight.  

We’ll help others … only if it’s comfortable. We’ll follow Jesus wherever He calls us to be His hands and feet … only if it’s to a safe and convenient place.

We’ll serve our family … but often more out of a sense of duty not delight.

Selfish Bondage

The day my mother gave birth to me (perhaps even when I was yet in the womb), my focus became about me. The same can be said for you.

It’s a journey to move away from that bondage to self toward the beauty of selfless loving and serving. And none of us arrive overnight.

That morning exchange with my husband revealed the selfish streak still alive and well in me … and in him … and in each of us. 

The focus still too-easily defaults to ourselves. But thank God, there’s hope we can grow into doing better.


Because Christ first loved us, we can learn to love well. Because He first served us, we can learn to serve well.

He loved and served you and me …



Oh, to live a life of service with the sacrificial zeal of Jesus! What a worthy goal. 

So what do we need to do? What can we do? 

Become Outwardly Serving By Becoming Upwardly Focused

We need to refocus … again and repeatedly.

To become outwardly serving, not inwardly focused, requires that we first focus on our relationship with the Lord. Because only from a heart filled with the Lord, can true love and service pour out to others. 

Only from a heart filled with the Lord, can love and service pour out to others. Click To Tweet

As we take our me-bent ways to Jesus, we can find freedom from the bondage to self. When we lay down our self-centeredness, we can pick up His servant mindedness.

That doesn’t mean giving up everything to go and save the world. It means growing a heart that says

I see you,

I care for you,

I want to help you. 

Developing servant mindedness means growing a heart that says I see you, I care for you, I want to help you. Click To Tweet

So today, my friend, let’s confess our inward focus and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with His fruit, two of which are love and kindness.

When we serve like Christ, we proclaim Him to a world in desperate need of a Savior. It all begins with a shift of focus.

And for me it continues with joyfully serving those I love the most.

When we serve like Christ, we proclaim Him to a world in desperate need of a Savior. It begins w/ a shift of focus. Click To Tweet

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Reflections: Where is your heart on the selfish meter? Do you serve but do so grudgingly? Who do you have the most trouble serving? 

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “grudgingly.’” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.

livefreeThursday badge

If you are looking to grow in this area of loving and serving well, check out my Serving Guide One Sheet: “5 Reasons to Serve (and how to do it).” It’s yours free for the asking. Get it by clicking here. Love. Serve. Make a Difference.

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

One comment on “When Serving Is a Chore Instead of a Delight
  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    Julie: I have a friend at church who has a servant’s heart. Sinceher dad died in May, 2015, she has been imbroiled with issues with her family. She truly has a servant’s heart. I was once told I had a servant’s heart by a pastor I counseled with. Looking back on that time, I don’t think he meant it as a kind remark. But I realize now we are all servant’s of the Lord every day.

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